Self-Publishing? Is It A Great Divide? Part 3 of 12
Welcome to all who are new, feel free to jump in. Comments here are always great they add to this blog so much, so thanks for your comments. Ah, the joys of writing and publishing.They both are great and both are challenging.
Another example: You’ve got the final draft, you’ve gotten an editor, and you’ve done all the marketing so that you can have the numbers should anyone ask. They are reasonable and it’s not a niche market, but a rather strong book. It has the potential to sell about 10,000 books. It’s a fiction book, and you’ve even managed some reviews already from published authors in that genre. Okay what do you do?
I’ll go through the usual list, or at least my version there of.
I wouldn’t go self-publishing. It wouldn’t work in this case. You could try it, but fiction, for some reason doesn’t sell well as self-published. I’m not sure why, possibly since it is a harder thing to sell. To me why make it worse? Christy gave a good point about Lighting Source, and I’ll look into that for tomorrow. If you’re wondering see yesterday’s two wonderful comments by Becky and Christy.
I’d look at small to mid sized publishers for fiction. Mostly midsized int his case as they would take positively to these types of runs for a first novel. The big thing I would do start on another book. No, really because it helps to have that second book forthcoming. Many publishers find it wonderful if you do it that way. Of course, it will still take time, and will go through more edits, and you’ll still have a ways to go.
I also wouldn’t look to the big publishing houses, as for a book of this size there wouldn’t be much of a push to get it to bookstores or other things. I’d worry about the lack of marketing, although I’m sure they could but it wouldn’t be to their best interest. They have larger more established authors, but one editor might push hard for you. Will you go for a might?
Of course, you should dream big, but where will your dreams take you? Will there be a touch of dreaming along your writing or will reality bring you down.
I think in this case should you dream to big, then reality will come crashing down, but if you maintain a realistic point of view you will be alright. There is still one way I will never go through, and that is the big vanity press when you can do it yourself, why get someone else to do that?
This is one of those things, publishing takes time and energy and more thought than what we want to believe. The manuscript needs to be perfect. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to sabotage their work by not having a good editor and great editing before you work with getting a publisher.
My Question for today is this: When you read the above example, what would you do? Do you think that a midsized publisher is the right way to go? What are your feelings on self-publishing does it fit with your views?
First I need to say it is possible to succeed with self-published fiction. Sure it's hard and it's not common. But it does happen – especially for niche fiction.
However I agree that for the most part aiming your fiction at a traditional publisher of the right genre and size is the course of wisdom. It's all about researching the right publishers.
I'd say there's really only four reasons to be self-publishing fiction.
1) You can't sell it to a publisher, but you still have real faith in its strength. If this is the case the first thing to do is admit you might be biased and get an unbiased opinion. If you have blurbs from published authors etc you already do. Though getting an editor to look at it is probably wise.
2) It's a web, blog or podcast fiction – publishers won't want it because it's prepublished but online readers may well pay for a printed and fully edited copy. If you can get enough pre-orders to cover your initial costs it may well work.
3)You've written a non-standard length work. A novella say. I can only think of a couple of novella publishers off the top of my head and I wouldn't touch either of them with a barge pole. They aren't vanity publishers, but ugly, over-priced books won't sell.
4) You're crazy (at least in the eyes of most people) and want to self-publish for the same reason some people climb Everest – because you can and precisely because it is hard.
And don't think I'm saying number four in order to belittle people who do it because they can. As long as they research what they're doing and make their book marketable they have a reasonable chance of making their investment back at least. I sometimes toy with the idea of doing this, because I am exactly this kind of crazy. It's really no different than any kind of gambling.
Anyway that was slightly incoherent but I hope I expressed my points correctly.